About Me

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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your stories with me as well.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Menu Week of April 28 - May 2

French Toast Casserole
Cereal x 2
Cheesy Eggs
Biscuits & Gravy
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Cheese Cubes & Crackers, Bananas
Leftovers x 3
Grilled Steak Kabobs
Teriyaki Chicken & Veggies
Homemade Pizza with white sauce
Baked Ziti with meat
Dinner out with friends

Our Weekend Recap

I couldn't have planned a better weekend with my family.  We had some great quality family time and lots of relaxation and FOOD!  
We started our weekend with grilling steaks on Friday night.  Then we went to David Jackson Park to burn off all the calories we just inhaled.  I'm pretty sure Bradley burned twice as many calories as we did since he ran most of the trail.
My favorite guys in the world!
Free gun show!  :)
On Saturday morning we hit jackpot at garage sales.  There were a TON of sales and several community sales.  My favorite purchases were a $3 baseball helmet and 10 cent children's books...LOTS of children books!  I had an afternoon massage while Mike worked on his online classes and Brad took a nap.  On Saturday evening we went to Bad Daddy's Burger Bar and we had a great first time experience.  We then checked out the new Cabela's that opened a couple weeks ago.  Bradley was pretty impressed with the fish tank.  We ended the night with frozen yogurt at Yogurtini
I'm pretty sure he will make the cutest baseball player there ever was.

I love this little guy!

A very impressive fish tank at Cabella's.

Our first experience at Yogurtini!  We loved it.
We had an incredible church service on Sunday morning.  God spoke directly to me on becoming a more cheerful giver.  He has given me so much, so what is holding me back from being a cheerful giver?  Not giving expecting something in return.  Not giving because I have to.  Not giving to get recognition.  But giving because I am excited to give back what God has blessed me with.  We ate at Panera Bread for lunch.  Bradley can inhale some cheddar broccoli soup and mac & cheese!  A nice afternoon nap and then back to church for a special prayer service that evening.  It was a great way to reflect on how God spoke to me that morning.  I'm so thankful for RBC, our pastor and staff!  We ended the night with relaxing on the front porch playing checkers!  I love my family and I'm so thankful for the wonderful, relaxing weekend God gave to us.

Huge bite of bread dipped in cheddar broccoli soup!

 Bradley made up his own rules when it was his turn to play. 
It was hilarious!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fun Friday Review & Giveaway - Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets

Yay for another great new product from Purex!  This time I received Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets in the fresh spring waters scent. 

When I opened the box, I was a little overwhelmed with the strong scent.  I was afraid the scent would be too strong on the laundry but I was wrong.  My laundry smelled wonderful and wasn't overwhelming. 

 These dryer sheets are great for reducing static cling, repelling pet hair and lint, and keeps your laundry smelling fresh for 30 days!  I'm getting ready to store away winter blankets and these will work perfectly in keeping our blankets smelling fresh.

Would you like to try new Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets yourself?  Leave on comment on whether or not you still hang your clothes outside to dry and you will be automatically be entered in the giveaway.  One winner will win TWO free product coupons.  Winner will be chosen on Monday, May 12th.

**The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.**

Ingles, Whole Foods, and Great Harvest Bread Co. Deals Week of April 20-26

I only shopped at 3 stores this week.  We had several things going on and I wasn't in the mood to make a lot of stops.  Our 15 month old foster child was placed with a relative earlier this week so our milk consumption has decreased significantly.
I had a BOGO coupon for Great Harvest Bread Co and it was my first time going into their store.  It's a good thing they are about 25 minutes away and on one of Greenville's busiest roads because I would become a breadaholic.  Their bread is amazing!  I sampled the blueberry cream cheese bread that had just come out of the oven.  Oh. My. Gosh.  AWESOME!!  I bought one loaf of honey wheat and one loaf of rosemary garlic.  Both are made with Happy Cow products and 100% whole wheat.  My total was $6.00 and I saved $6.00.

Ingles had a lot of great BOGO and other sales on Harvest Farms products due to Earth Day being this week.  I was able to stock up on chicken, steak, and roast beef.  My favorite deal was the BOGO on Annie's snacks and salad dressings.  My total spent was $132.06 and I saved $67.72.

I found a $10 certificate for Whole Foods that I had bought off Groupon back in February.  I only needed one gallon of Happy Cow milk and some Limestone Farm eggs.  My total out of pocket after using the Groupon was 98 cents.
My total amount spent this week was $139.04.  Another week keeping it under my $150 weekly grocery budget! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Weekend Recap

What a fabulous Easter weekend our family had!  Facebook was blowing up with Easter pictures yesterday and tonight it's my turn to show off all my pictures!
On Friday night, we went to a Pirate Easter Argh Hunt at church.
Bradley had fun finding eggs in the pool full of packing peanuts.
I'm not quite sure what scared him so much in this pirate room
but the look on his face was priceless!
Practicing the pirate dance!
Making his pirate scope
What a great Pirate Easter Argh Hunt!
Saturday morning breakfast was Applegate Chicken and Maple Sausage links
and biscuits and gravy...yummy!
The boys got haircuts in the morning!
Daddy and Bradley had some puzzle time. 
This kid loves his puzzles and is brilliant at putting them together!
I went with a group of ladies from church to help Nothing But Jesus Street Ministries on Saturday night.  What an awesome experience!
Bradley's Easter Basket
 Bradley's confused expression looking to see what the Easter bunny brought.
Checking out his new dump truck
His first hollow Easter bunny. 
 Mike wanted to carry on the tradition of a hollow bunny.
He wasn't impressed with the Peeps.  They were thrown in the garbage.
He was very excited with new markers!
Easter 2014
I love this picture of my two handsome guys!
Easter egg hunt at Auntie Tina's house on Sunday afternoon
Brad picked up one egg and then went to play with the soccer ball.
Reagan and I re-hid the eggs so the adults could have their own egg hunt.
And they are off with Chuck and Tina fighting over the first egg.
Mike was annoyed that he couldn't find any.
You can't get any sweeter than these two!

Four of the six cousins.
A nice evening for swinging!
And ending the night with chocolate!

Menu Week of April 21 - 25

It's been a busy day.  My 10 year old nephew was hit by a car last night and is in critical condition for the next 36 hours.  Please pray for complete healing in his little body.  I'm hoping to stick to this menu but it may change due to some scheduling arrangements.  We are having dinner out twice this week due to our floors being installed on Wednesday and Thursday.  I won't be able to get into the kitchen to cook.  I haven't picked out what new recipe I'll be making yet but I'll be sure to post it if it's a success!
Egg & Ham Biscuits
Pancakes & Sausage
Cereal x 2
Hot Turkey Sandwiches
Lunch out with a friend
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Dinner Out x 2
Grilled Chicken SaladsNew Recipe Dish!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Painting Easter Eggs with Bradley

So I might not be Mrs. Crafty but Bradley and I can still have fun coloring Easter Eggs.  And I think Bradley did an awesome job and his colored eggs are prettier than anything you'll find on Pinterest....at least in my opinion.  Ignore the background mess in the kitchen and the floors.  We are in the middle of renovating our floors due to a bad leak from the back door.  The new floors will go in next week but until then, it's a little rough looking in my house right now. 
He loved putting "sparkles" on the eggs.

He was so careful brushing the paint on.

More "sparkles".

This smile came only after about the 20th time asking him to
 please look at the camera and smile. 

Easter Eggs 2014

Costco, Ingles, CVS, Staples, and Old Tyme Country Store Sales Week of April 13-19

This trip to Costco was primarily to pick up supper items for Growth Group.  We had a cookout on Sunday evening and I grilled hot dogs while everyone else brought sides.  I'm pretty sure everyone in our GG can cook!  We always have the best food.  :) 
My total was $39.61.

My total at Ingles was $41.75 and I saved $30.73.  Most of the snack items I'm putting back for our vacation in May.  It will be here before I know it!

I needed more milk and cheese but I didn't feel like going to Earth Fare (it's only a 20 minute drive) or Happy Cow Creamery (that's more like 45 minutes) so I stopped at The Old Tyme Country Store that is right up the road.  They carry the Happy Cow Products. I know to some of you 20 or 45 minutes would be nice.  But I'm extremely spoiled with a huge variety of stores within one mile from me.   My total was $40.48.  All their items are anywhere from $1-3 higher than going to the Farm but once you take in consideration gas mileage to the Farm, it ended up being about the same price if not saving a little bit. 

This was a fun trip to CVS.  I spent a whopping 12 cents and I saved $37.44 and I received $3.49 back in ECB's.  I used $12 in ECB's on this transaction and $5/$15 CVS coupon along with $8 in manufacturer's coupons.

Staples had these markers Free after Rebate and the Go Fish cards were on clearance.  These will be great items in Bradley's Easter basket.  My total was only $2.64 because I used a $4 Staples ink recycling rebate.  And I'll get $4 back from this purchase once the markers rebate comes in the mail.

One quick stop into Ingles last night to pick up potatoes.  I got off easy this year by just having to bring mashed potatoes to Easter lunch.  The organic potatoes were on clearance for $2.99.  I used a Free coupon for the Purex No Sort and 50 cent coupon on the creamer.  My total was $5.21 and I saved $4.98.
I made one quick stop to the Costco in Spartanburg for sour cream.  A group of ladies from church will be feeding tacos to the homeless on Saturday and my item to bring was sour cream.  I spent $8.98.  I chose the Spartanburg store because I did a quick mystery shop while I was there.  It didn't take me more than 30 minutes and I earned $15 for doing it!
My total grocery bill was $138.79  I'm so happy that I stayed under my $150 weekly budget!